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Everything is About the Inner Game

A performance psychologist understands that life is a marathon. To run this marathon, we need to train just like any other athlete to be effective in the sport. Many athletes believe that becoming great is about working hard, but there is significant power in non-action and non-thinking. Without awareness and clear intention, we may start too slow.

The Power of Non-Action and Non-Thinking

So, what do these powers of non-action and non-thinking look like? These powers are spiritual and interconnected—mindfulness, concentration, insight, right effort, and trust, as discovered by George Mumford. The hardest to adapt among these powers are mindfulness and concentration.

Mindfulness and Concentration

Mindfulness is paying attention in a particular, non-judgmental way, as if your life depended on it. The minute you let your mind wander, you lose the present moment. The present moment is where you achieve the zone, the flow—the cultivated experience for optimal performance. Mindfulness has proven effective when experiencing negative self-talk, losing focus after making a mistake, worrying about re-injury, and lacking self-talk awareness.

Staying Focused

If you stay centered, you remain focused. The minute you step away from the center, you experience stress and self-doubt. It is not easy to focus on one thing repeatedly, but this requires training your mind. Your mind is an organ that requires training, just like the other organs in your body. If you get bored doing something repeatedly, you need to examine the intention behind the task.

The Inner Game

When you are mindful, you have concentration and insight in your mindfulness, which helps you live every moment deeply. Everything is an inner game—pure performance starts with the mind. Your mind determines how well you perform.

Right Effort and Trust

Right effort cultivates positive mind states with energy that does not cause your body or mind to suffer. Trust is having the courage to delve into the unknown, allowing you to tap into any deep sufferings or self-awareness.

The Benefits of Meditation

All of the science has shown the benefits of meditation. Top-level championship players in various sports use meditation to overcome stress during the game, after the game, and within their ego. Phil Jackson and Kobe Bryant have discussed how mindfulness exercises were a routine within their team.

Engage with a Performance Psychologist

Understanding and utilizing these principles can elevate your performance in sports and life. Working with a performance psychologist can help you develop these mental skills effectively.

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